In my bag, for example, I have tiny eyeglass screwdrivers. Those are great for gouging out material in the pumpkin. I have a melon baller. It happens to leave just the right divot when I cut through (the pumpkin). I have broken pieces of old hacksaws. Any kitchen utensil will work. A metal skewer is fantastic. You can scratch along the surface if you want to make a pumpkin that looks all scarred up in the face. Anything metal that you can make an impact on the pumpkin. I didn’t start using professional pumpkin carving tools till just a few years ago.
How can I safely get my kids involved in pumpkin carving?
There’s always a part that the child can do. So if you’re carving a pumpkin with your child, you cut the bottom off the pumpkin and then give them something like a spoon or an ice cream scoop and let them go to town ripping the guts out of it. That’s the messy and the fun part. Another way you can get kids involved is if you have a small child do a very simple face and simply hold their hand and help guide them as they cut along the line of a triangle or any circles you might have on there.
The other thing as far as getting kids involved is a lot of times kids like to decide what the design is going to be. So ask your child what kind of face it should be – a scary face, a happy face, an angry face? Then have them take a black magic marker and physically draw the image on the pumpkin and then you can have them scoop out the pumpkin and then you carve the image out. The child’s still going to take ownership of it because they drew the face on the pumpkin and they like that. That’s their face.
How can I transfer an image onto my pumpkin?
TO: There are two ways of transferring an image on to a pumpkin that are generally accepted. Most people will take the picture you draw onto the pumpkin and trace it out with a small pin. When you peel the paper off, you will have all these dotted lines that make up your image.
Another very effective method is to take a piece of charcoal, and rub the back of the piece of paper with it to make it completely black. Place the paper on the pumpkin, charcoal-side down, and then trace the image with a ballpoint pen. That will leave a pencil copy of the image that you just traced. Essentially you’re making the piece of paper into a piece of carbon paper, because carbon paper is a tough thing to find these days.
How can I preserve my pumpkin?
The number one thing you want to do when preserving a pumpkin is to kill bacteria. Bacteria breaks down the pumpkin and the pumpkin rots. The safest way to do this is with some solution that includes bleach, so a little bleach and water or any bleach based bathroom cleanser sprayed inside and outside the pumpkin. That’ll kill all the bacteria that’ll break your pumpkin down and will help your pumpkin to survive a few days longer.
There are a lot of other techniques like rubbing Vaseline on them or oil-based products. I’ve had limited success with them and it’s really messy. The easiest and simplest thing to do is get your pumpkin as sterile as possible with some kind of cleanser.
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